“How sweet it is to die of one has lived on the Cross!” “As death approaches, man reaps what he has sown.” These are the thoughts that shrouded the thoughts of many as the mortal remains of Lt. Rev. Fr. Ponnattil Mathew SDB, loving and commonly known as Fr. P.K was laid to rest at the Salesian cemetery in Salesian College, Dimapur on 1 February 2020.
On 30th January 2020 at 8:30 morning Fr. P.K left for his heavenly abode after prolonged days of sickness and pain. It was in the V.G hospital, Dibrugarh where Fr. P.K breathed his last.
A moving service, the funeral Mass, was celebrated at the chapel of Salesian College Dimapur on 1st February 2020 at 2:30 PM. The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Bishop James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima and concelebrated by Fr. Provincial, Fr. Vice-Provincial and around 90 Priests.
Many, especially the people for whom he worked for, came to bid adieu to Fr. P.K. Mathew. The service was well attended. The congregation which gathered for the service was moved to tears. Nonetheless, the faith and hope that Fr. P.K was in heaven filled all with mixed emotions.
In his homily, Fr. Jose Kuruvachira, the Provincial, spoke at length about the tremendous service done by Father for the Church. Apart from that, eulogies for Fr. P.K were given by Bishop James, representatives from the Angami and Lotha Communities, family members, Marengo Hostel Dibrugarh, Don Bosco community Dibrugarh and Fr. Thomas Vattoth, representing the confreres of the province. All spoke very highly of father and yet they also admitted that their words were never sufficient to express the wonderful services rendered by Fr. P.K. Vote of thanks was then proposed by Fr. Nazarius Lakra, the Vice-Provincial.
After the service the coffin was taken in procession to cemetery and was then finally laid to rest. Yes, Fr. P.K never trusted the clouds but the sunshine; not the shadow but the sun. He trusted in his dream and hope and never his hurt. He always had faith in his faith and doubted his doubts. “Well done good and faithful servant, enter to the place where you belonged,” must be the words lovingly spoken to Fr. P.K Mathew by our Lord Jesus as he reached paradise.
As the day came to a close, the sorrow of having lost a great soul was a memory of the past. It was never a loss as we thought, but it was a gain. A new member was added in heaven.
by Bro. Gangmei Samuel SDB